Mask for 3 Year Old - How Strict is Disney and How did get your kiddo to wear a mask?

Hi everyone. We have a trip planned for November but are really contemplating not going due to the current mask requirements for kids. I do not want to get into an argument over masks…I am fine wearing a mask for myself but our concern is my son who is 3 wearing a mask. We are from Texas and our 3 year old has never had to wear a mask. For those of you with little ones around the same age, how did you get your kid to wear a mask? All tips are welcome :slight_smile:

How strict were CM at WDW requiring small kids around age 3 to wear their masks in line, waiting at restaurants for food, etc? My son is around 38" in height so I don’t think they will think he is under 2.

Thanks for the advice :slight_smile:

When we were there, we saw lots of very young kids donning masks, so I think the key is going to just be practicing early. Perhaps start having him wear a mask when you go out in public, shopping, etc., in small doses. If you do this at the same time, you can make it seem like it is a new normal. “Okay, time to put on our masks in the store!”

I think it will be tricky if you make it optional/occasional rather than consistent. Establish when masks WILL be worn versus WILL NOT. And state it so. Then, when you arrive at Disney, you can use the same language. “We’re going inside. Time to put our masks on!” That kind of thing.


They will be strict. I agree with Ryan’s advice.


Great advice. Thanks!

I figured they would be strict :frowning: Thanks for the advice :slight_smile:

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Agree with the advice to practice. Kids are much more flexible than we give them credit for.

We just got back from Disney with my barely 2 year old. She did great - never complained and kept it on because she could see everyone else was doing it! The cast members are very strict - I saw them reminding 2-3 year olds frequently.

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You can also make it seem like a privilege. “Now you’re a big boy that gets to wear a mask!” Either let him pick one out, or pick a design you think he’ll like and wrap it up in gift wrap. The more positive spin you can put on it, the better.


Thanks for the advice and insight. I wish the mask requirement were for kids a little older but it is what it is :slight_smile: Thanks!

That’s a great idea…make it like a gift. Thanks!

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Not Disney, but my son had to start kindergarten wearing a mask and like others have said, just start small and work up, and get some fun cute options. I honestly think kids have an easier time with this than a lot of grownups, my son now wears them around the house.


We live outside Chicago so we started practicing with my now 3 year old just before she turned 2 as we have had strict rules for most of the pandemic. She really liked helping to pick out her masks when we ordered them. Now her favorite activity before school is deciding which mask she will wear. So I would definitely involve him in picking out the masks. We also have the kind with the adjustable ear loops, that way we can make sure it is comfortable for her. Final tip, we have the mask lanyards that we attach so that if she takes it off it stays on her body vs falling to the floor, etc. They can be found on Amazon

I had concerns about her reaction to them, but she has been great! I really think the fun patterns help. Good luck!!

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We were there in January-

My great-niece was 3 and cast members were actively reminding her parents she need to wear the mask…

After the 3rd time I was embarrassed by my families non-compliance, I took her into the the Chapeau and allowed her to PICK OUT her own from the ones SIZED for kids…I also purchased masks for her dad and my sister in correct adult size.

No more problems with the our little princess after that…

Skip the paper masks altogether and make it fun

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Yeah, and since you’re going to need multiples, you could always “gift” the first one and then let him pick out some more.

We love the lanyards! DS11.2 figured out, while eating, let it hang down your back instead of your front so it stays out of the path of food. Duh! :sweat_smile:


Oh that is a genius…a mask lanyard! Great tips on involving kiddo. Thanks!!

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I work with kids under 3 and here are a few suggestions from therapists:

Have them practice wearing a mask for short periods of time and gradually increase the time Try at first when the child is distracted, such as when watching TV or reading a book with them.

Allow them to play with a mask during playtime, such as dress up or having a mask they can put on their stuffed animals or dolls.

Model wearing a mask when they do.

Have them help pick out some masks.

There are little ones wearing masks at daycares everyday, so it is possible. As said above, it takes some practice.


My son was 4 about to be 5 when masks became mandatory where I live. He’s also autistic.
It takes lots of practice and motivation. We told him he couldn’t go to school or Disney if he didn’t wear it. We bought him masks with his favorite characters also. Now he wears masks 8 hours a day at school and it’s basically normal for him. Practice and persistence.
I find that parents are often more anxious about their kids wearing the masks than the kids are. They adapt pretty fast. You just can’t give in in the beginning when it seems so hard.


Did this for our photos as well-when we remembered! :blush:

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I don’t have any specific advice, but my DW was reassigned as a school aide to work with preschoolers this year - she said they have all actually been very consistent with wearing theirs. Sounds like it is just practice until it becomes a habit.

When we went this past May my daughter was about 2 and a half.

We practiced by wearing it in the house including her big sister (age 4 and a half), and myself. We danced around to a song, then we did a couple of songs, and then I would set a timer. I would also have some M&M’s as rewards.

Eventually she was comfortable with it. I tried to make it as fun and silly as I could.

At Disney, when she refused to put it back on or wanted a break, we would put her in the stroller, lower the shade, and give her some water or a snack.

Also, I second the mask lanyards. They work great. And bring a lot of masks. Our kids mouth breath with them on, and they are constantly getting soggy. We would go through at least three a day with them.

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My 5yo started wearing when she was 3. She is an awesome mask wearer BUT we tried many styles and sizes and there is really just one brand/style that stays up and still feels breathable to her for a long day at school.

I recommend ordering one of a bunch of different kinds and trying them out for outings and then get more of whatever your kid feels best in.

My kids like the Jool brand disposables on Amazon but everyone’s face is a little different.

I also don’t know if you have more than one adult going on your trip but having the kid(s) wait outside with an adult while one adult goes in for a food etc might also minimize how often you have to mask the kid(s) up.

Good luck!